Move Well       Inside Public Schools

Physical Activity Inside Public Schools

The Texas Education Code requires physical education be included as part of the enrichment curriculum in each school district (Sec. 28.002).

The physical education curriculum must be sequential, developmentally appropriate, and designed, implemented, and evaluated to enable students to develop the motor, self-management, and other skills, knowledge, attitudes, and confidence necessary to participate in physical activity throughout life. Each school district shall establish specific objectives and goals the district intends to accomplish through the physical education curriculum consistent with national physical education standards.

A school district shall require a student enrolled in full-day prekindergarten, in kindergarten, or in a grade level below grade six to participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes throughout the school year as part of the district's physical education curriculum or through structured activity during a school campus's daily recess. If a school district determines, for any particular grade level below grade six, that requiring moderate or vigorous daily physical activity is impractical due to scheduling concerns or other factors, the district may as an alternative require a student in that grade level to participate in moderate or vigorous physical activity for at least 135 minutes during each school week.

To the extent practicable, a school district shall require a student enrolled in prekindergarten on less than a full-day basis to participate in the same type and amount of physical activity as a student enrolled in full-day prekindergarten.

A school district shall require students enrolled in grade levels six, seven, and eight to participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes for at least four semesters during those grade levels as part of the district's physical education curriculum.

The State Board of Education by rule shall require that the curriculum requirements for the foundation high school program under Subsection (a) include a requirement that students successfully complete one credit in physical education.

Additionally, a school district may as an alternative require a student enrolled in a grade level for which the district uses block scheduling to participate in moderate or vigorous physical activity for at least 225 minutes during each period of two school weeks.

The board of trustees of each school district shall establish a local school health advisory council to assist the district in ensuring that local community values are reflected in the district's health education instruction (Sec. 28.004).

The local school health advisory council shall consider and make policy recommendations to the district concerning the importance of daily recess for elementary school students. The council must consider research regarding unstructured and undirected play, academic and social development, and the health benefits of daily recess in making the recommendations. The council shall ensure that local community values are reflected in any policy recommendation made to the district under this subsection

The local school health advisory council shall establish a physical activity and fitness planning subcommittee to consider issues relating to student physical activity and fitness and make policy recommendations to increase physical activity and improve fitness among students.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) identifies school health and physical education as part of a student's "well-rounded" education. 

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